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Conservation boost for South East Queensland.



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Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell

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Joint Media Release Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell & Australian Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry The Hon. Peter McGauran MP & Queensland Minister for the Environment, Local Government, Planning and Women Desley Boyle MP & Queensland Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Water Henry Palaszczuk MP

16 March 2006

C038/06

Conservation boost for South East Queensland

Communities in Queensland’s heavily populated south east region will benefit from more than $8.4 million funding to tackle environmental issues and manage our natural resources.

Water and soil quality, weed and pest control, coastal and wetland conservation and wildlife protection are all being targeted for assistance.

Stretching from Noosa, through Brisbane and Toowoomba to the Gold Coast, the region will receive over $3.3 million under the Australian Government’s Natural Heritage Trust programme. A further $5 million is being provided by the Australian and Queensland Governments under the National Action Plan for Salinity and Water Quality.

Details of the South East Queensland Catchments Natural Resource Management Regional Investment Strategy were announced today by Australian Government and State Ministers.

The Australian Ministers for Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell, and Agriculture Fisheries and Forestry, Peter McGauran MP, and Queensland Ministers for the Environment, Desley Boyle MP, and Natural Resources, Mines and Water, Henry Palaszczuk MP, said the joint funding would run until mid 2007.

“Priorities for action have been set by local communities working together to identify key regional issues and develop natural resource management plans,” Senator Campbell said.

“The importance of involving the community in natural resource management is reflected in more than $2 million put towards community based projects.”

These projects include on-ground work, raising awareness and education activities as well as providing support for partnerships with traditional owners and with industry.

Mr McGauran said major steps were being taken to protect water resources in south east Queensland, with more than $2.5 million going to this task.

“We will be supporting smaller councils in the area to develop waterway strategies, researching the impacts of salinity in streams and assisting community-based water quality monitoring,” Mr McGauran said.

“Queensland’s south eastern coastline is renowned and more than $500,000 will be spent on caring for our coasts. This will include protecting migratory birds using the Moreton Bay wetlands, supporting programmes to monitor seagrass and estuaries, and forming partnerships with the recreational fishing industry.”

The Ministers welcomed the formation of a new natural resource management body for the region, South East Queensland Catchments Limited (SEQC), which amalgamates two former NRM bodies.

Mr Palaszczuk today attended an event to announce funding for the region and to launch the new organisation.

“People in this region have put a lot of work into identifying where action is needed and I look forward to seeing the practical results following the funding announced today,” Mr Palaszczuk said.

Ms Boyle said protection of natural ecosystems that are under pressure from increasing population in this part of Queensland will be assisted with $1.12 million.

“Activities will include identifying important biodiversity areas in the region, supporting the voluntary nature conservation programme, Land for Wildlife and helping landholders better manage weeds and pests,” Ms Boyle said.

Representing the Australian Government Ministers at the launch today, the Federal Member for Blair, Cameron Thompson MP, visited the Bundamba Wetlands where he inspected NRM displays and activities such as water testing, and flora and fauna identification.

South East Queensland Catchments Region is one of 56 NRM regions across the country developing strategies and plans to help communities manage our natural assets.

A summary of NRM investment initiatives for south-east Queensland catchments for January 2006-June 2007 is attached.

Media Contact: Renae Stoikos (Senator Campbell) 02 6277 7640 or 0418 568 434 Russ Neal (Minister McGauran) (02) 6277 7520 or 0413 601 303 Kirby Anderson (Minister Palaszczuk) (07) 3896 3688 or 0418 197 350 Carissa Mason (Minister Boyle) (07) 3227 6424

South East Queensland Catchments NRM Investment Programme Summary January 2006 - June 2007 Healthy Land $1,090, 000

z 70 property plans in key landscape areas

z 100 hectares on ground works - native plantation, grasses engineering and soil erosion.

z Regional Open Space and Pest Animal strategies prepared

z Land use/capability assessment with 18 Councils/industry and landholders

z Soil Erosion Hazard and Salinity Risk Mapping.

Preserving our Natural Ecosystems $1,127,000

z 200 new Land for Wildlife properties

z 1000 hectares on ground works - fencing, rehabilitation, pest pant and animal control

z Incentives Programme for Fauna Watch

z Vegetation mapping over 10,000 hectares in western part of catchment.

Protecting Water Assets $2,555,000

z On ground works involving 24 hectares wetland rehabilitation, 65 km riparian fencing, 100 hectares

of gully erosion and aquatic weed management control, engineering works and exclusion fencing, 4 fish barriers and 5 storm water quality devices z Mapping regionally significant ecosystems over 2.2m hectares

z SEQ sediment load assessment and report on point source risk

z Riparian zone and stream bank stabilisation decision support tool.

Coastal and Marine Management $555,000

z On ground works - 45 hectares coastal native vegetation protected & rehabilitated

z Coastal decision support tool

z Seagrass watch and Estuarine Watch Programmes

Community Partnerships $2,005,500

z Over 100 workshops, awareness raising and training events

z On ground works - 2000 hectares of improved irrigation practices, 5 off stream watering sites, and

21 hectares of native plantation z 8 Best Management Practice guidelines

z Regional Indigenous Plan.

Regional Planning and Information $517,328

z New regional NRM plan and NRM atlas

z Mapping of sites with multiple investment benefits

z Monitoring and evaluation Framework

z Ecosystem services case studies.

Core Operating Costs $600,000

Last updated: Thursday, 16-Mar-2006 11:23:07 EST

Department of the Environment and Heritage GPO Box 787 Canberra ACT 2601 Australia Telephone: +61 (0)2 6274 1111

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